Archive for the ‘Hexagram’ Category

George Weigel Endorses Abraham Heschel’s Hermetic/Kabbalistic Gnosis

April 29, 2010

“Go to any bookstore in North America today and you’ll likely find a large section on “spirituality,” in which there are large numbers of books about “our search for God.”

“But there is wisdom in the title the late, great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel gave to one of his books: God in Search of Man. Biblical religion – faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus – is not about “spirituality,” and it’s not about our search for God. The God of the Bible comes to search for us, and asks us to take the same path through history that he is taking.” (George Weigel, April 15, 2010)

Am I reading unintended Hermeticism into Heschel? I think he made himself very clear:

“This outlook provides the foundation for the study of the teachings of the Kabbalah. In many places in the Zohar you will find the statement that the Holy and Blessed one created this world on the model of the world above: ‘Everything that exists above is replicated below'(Zohar Pekudei 221a). In the opinion of the sages, the people brought with them from Babylonia the names of the angels. But we have not yet been able to discover the source of the [non-biblical] concept of the parallelism of the world above and the world below.” (Abraham Joshua Heschel, Gordon Tucker, Heavenly Torah: as refracted through the generations, p.266)

Also see:

‘Shoah’ Theologian Reveals Hermetic/Kabbalistic Doctrine at Core of Holocaustolatry

Vatican II Kabbalist Sage, Rabbi Abraham Heschel: “I Want to Attack Their Souls”

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Benedict XVI, Hexagram Hat Make Cover of Foreign Policy Magazine

December 7, 2009

Benedict and his 11/22 hexagram hat are featured in Foreign Policy magazine’s December “Top 100 Global Thinkers” edition.

Credit to Berengaria of Ignis Ardens for this find.

http://z10.invisionfree.com/Ignis_Ardens/

Benedict’s Magick Zionist Crusader Hat

December 5, 2009

Updated with comments, Dec. 6.

Benedict XVI at a canonization ceremony (of five) in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 wearing a hexagram mitre


… with 11 stones on each side. Note the Templar crosses.

Credit to http://sedevacante-pax.blogspot.com/ for this find.

Original photo sources:

http://www.daylife.com/photo/0fT6gzRefX2vT

http://www.catholicpressphoto.com/servizi/2009-10-11%20canonizzazione/page4.htm

At a canonization of five saints, Oct, 11, 2009, Benedict wore a mitre bearing large hexagrams and 11 stones on each side. Since the 16th century the hexagram 11, and 22 are highly significant in Lurianic Kabbalah. They have no strong significance in Catholicism that I am aware of. Also, his pallium has 6 Templar crosses on it.

This taken by itself is interesting to me at most. If Benedict was an orthodox pope I might overlook this suspicious almalgam of symbols. But let’s look at Benedict’s fruits.

On his watch, the rightly blackened legacy of the Templars–a violent group of Zionist international bankers with occult religious practices–was rehabilitated HERE and HERE.

Benedict was the major player in the rehabilitation of the rightly blackened image of the Zionist state shortly after its despicable 22 day-long rampage on Gaza HERE, HERE, HERE.

Benedict is, I think it’s fair to say, a compulsive proponent of so-called ‘dialogue,’ a Kabbalistic kind of sorcery utterly foreign to Catholicism also promoted by Kabbalists such as Rabbi Abraham Heschel and Martin Buber. Benedict has gone so far as to make ‘dialogue’ with ‘the elder brothers’ a religious mandate HERE.

His acts of approval of Kabbalist rabbis and their traditions are too many to list. He even gave a text written by the Kabbalist Jacob ben Asher the “Ba’al ha-Turim” (Master of the Pillars) as a gift during his NYC Passover Eve synagogue visit HERE.

These and the many, many other rotten fruits of Benedict XVI are far more troubling to me than some symbols on his vestments. But the fact that he does these things and also displays the relevant symbols is rather brazen in my opinion. He’s apparently attempting to sanctify these symbols by placing them in such a prominent place as a papal mitre during a canonization liturgy.

Also see:

Occultists to Absolve Themselves

Benedict’s Hasbara Mission

Will Benedict’s Pilgrimage Boost “Israel’s” Image or Destroy His Own?

Pope’s Speech to American Zionist Leaders, Feb. 12

Benedict Praises “Noahide Law” Commission

Benedict’s Zionist Easter “Convert” Attempts Resuscitation of “Islamofascist Threat” for U.S. Presidential Election

Pope Benedict and Synod Rabbi: Like Yin and Yang

Scalia “Traditionalism”

November 5&6 2009 Terror Talisman

November 6, 2009

These numbers and symbols have no power. The Gospel has power, but it has been forsaken.

A 40-year-old man who was reportedly fired two years ago from an engineering firm apparently returned to that office Friday and shot six people, killing one, according to police and his former employer … Swat teams and ambulances descended on the 16-story [Orlando, Florida] Gateway Center office building after receiving reports of shots having been fired at 11 a.m. Friday morning … (1 dead in shooting at Orlando office building; suspect in custody Washington Post, Friday, November 6, 2009)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110602294.html

"Popish Plot" Recast As "Islamofascist Plot"

November 6, 2009
The Execution of the Five Jesuits

On the Contrary: The Hoodwink in Texas

“He was making outlandish comments condemning our foreign policy and claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans,” Col Lee told Fox News.

“He said Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place.” He said that Maj Hasan said he was “happy” when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June. An American convert to Islam was accused of the shootings.

Col Lee alleged that other officers had told him that Maj Hasan had said “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Time Square” in New York. (Fort Hood shooting: Nidal Malik Hasan ‘said Muslims should rise up’ … Telegraph U.K. November 5, 2009)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6511591/Fort-Hood-shooting-Nidal-Malik-Hasan-said-Muslims-should-rise-up.html

Archbishop Dolan Replaces Cardinal Keeler as USCCB Judas Goat

October 23, 2009

The rabbis and their Judas Goat accomplices believe that numbers and dates empower their schemes. But whatever power they have derives directly from ‘Christian’ neglect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? (Matthew 5;13) And as Pope St. Pius X echoed, “In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men … All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics.”

New Moderator of Catholic-Jewish talks named

Spero News

Friday, October 23, 2009

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been named Moderator of Jewish Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), succeeding Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop-emeritus of Baltimore, in that role.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, USCCB president, made the appointment, which is effective November 11, and is for five years.

In announcing the appointment, Cardinal George noted the New York Archdiocese’s “long history of cooperation and friendship between Catholics and Jews.” In addition, said Cardinal George, “Since the Second Vatican Council, important strides in this relationship have been made through dialogue and collaboration in countering racism, anti-Semitism and other offenses against human dignity,”

Cardinal George said in the letter of appointment. “Our Episcopal Conference, through the leadership of your predecessors in New York, and especially through the tireless and generous service of Cardinal William Keeler, has sought to contribute to the work of reconciliation between the Church and the Jewish people after centuries of mutual estrangement. While we look back with gratitude on nearly a half century of progress in these efforts at healing and renewal, we also know that important and pressing challenges lie ahead for us.”

Cardinal George said news of this appointment will be appreciated by the Bishops of the United States, as well as by friends and colleagues in the Jewish community who have come to know Archbishop Dolan as a good listener and faithful interpreter of the historic ties that bind the two communities together.

“Above all else,” Cardinal George said, the Jewish community will find Archbishop Dolan to be “a friend who communicates the joy of his own faith, while at the same time conveying profound respect for the spiritual gifts of the other.”

Archbishop Dolan will join Cardinal Keeler on November 11 for the semi-annual USCCB’s consultation with the National Council of Synagogues. This will be the last Catholic-Jewish meeting at which Cardinal Keeler serves as co-chair.

http://www.speroforum.com/a/21427/New-Moderator-of-CatholicJewish-talks-named

David P. Goldman’s Noahide Dream

April 17, 2009

… that “Globalism” might reach its objective; that all non-Judaic nations, cultures and religions may die and be absorbed into counterfeit Israel. Those who don’t go along with this Judeomaniacal fantasy are “‘Jew’-haters”–a fine ideology for an associate editor of an ostensibly Catholic journal to have. David P. Goldman can barely conceal his hatred for Christians as he cajoles them into being canon fodder for “eternal Israel.”

And Spengler is …

David P. Goldman – Asia Times

Apr 18, 2009

… The old and angry cultures of the world, fighting for room to breath against the onset of globalization, would not go quietly into the homogenizer. Many of them would fight to survive, but fight in vain, for the tide of modernity could not be rolled back.

As in the great extinction of the tribes in late antiquity, individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel. The great German-Jewish theologian and student of the existential angst of dying nations, Franz Rosenzweig, had commanded undivided attention during the 1990s, and I had a pair of essays about him for the Jewish-Christian Relations website. Rosenzweig’s theology, it occurred to me, had broader applications.

The end of the old ethnicities, I believed, would dominate the cultural and strategic agenda of the next several decades. Great countries were failing of their will to live, and it was easy to imagine a world in which Japanese, German, Italian and Russian would turn into dying languages only a century hence. Modernity taxed the Muslim world even more severely, although the results sometimes were less obvious.

The 300 or so essays that I have published in this space since 1999 all proceeded from the theme formulated by Rosenzweig: the mortality of nations and its causes, Western secularism, Asian anomie, and unadaptable Islam.

Why raise these issues under a pseudonym? There is a simple answer, and a less simple one. To inform a culture that it is going to die does not necessarily win friends, and what I needed to say would be hurtful to many readers …

In this world of accelerated mortality, in which the prospect of national extinction hung visibly over most of the peoples of the world, Jew-hatred was stripped of its mask, and revealed as the jealousy of the merely undead toward living Israel. And it was not hard to show that the remnants of the tribal world lurking under the cover of Islam [MP: and not Judaism? Zionism? This maniac is hoping his will be the only tribe left] were not living, but only undead, incapable of withstanding the onslaught of modernity, throwing a tantrum against their inevitable end …

My commitment to Judaism came relatively late in life, in my mid-thirties, but was all the more passionate for its tardiness …

… one of the last truly universal European minds belongs to the octogenarian Pope Benedict XVI. In 1996, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had said in an interview published as Die Salz der Erde, “Perhaps we have to abandon the idea of the popular Church. Possibly, we stand before a new epoch of Church history with quite different conditions, in which Christianity will stand under the sign of the mustard seed, in small and apparently insignificant groups, which nonetheless oppose evil intensively and bring the Good into the world.” The best mind in the Catholic Church squarely considered the possibility that Christianity itself might shrink into seeming insignificance …

Painfully and slowly, I began to learn the classic Jewish sources. My guide back to Judaism was the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, and my first essay on these subjects was published by the Jewish-Christian Relations website in 1999 under the title, “Has Franz Rosenzweig’s Time Come?” …

As a returning religious Jew, I had less and less to discuss with the secular Zionists who shared my passion and partisanship for Israel, but could not see a divine dimension in Jewish nationhood. So-called cultural Judaism repelled me …

Both as classical musician and as a Germanist, I had better insight than most Jews into the lofty character of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI … Ratzinger was kind enough to review and comment on the draft of one of my articles on music theory in the 1980s. There is a connection between Ratzinger’s insider’s grasp of music and his Fingerspitzengefuhl for Jewish theology – something I tried to express in an essay entitled “The Pope, the Musicians and the Jews” …

The editors of First Things asked me for an essay on Franz Rosenzweig and Islam, which I published in 2007, and later a piece entitled “Zionism for Christians”, which appeared in 2008 under the pseudonym “David Shushon”. That was a milestone for me … I came to know the magazine’s editor Joseph Bottum, as well as such regular contributors as George Weigel, Russell Hittinger and R R Reno.

On January 8, 2009, the magazine’s founder Richard John Neuhaus died. A few weeks later Jody Bottum asked me to join the staff of First Things as an editor and writer … “Spengler” is channeled by David P Goldman, associate editor of First Things (www.firstthings.com). (“And Spengler is …,” David P. Goldman, Asia Times, Apr 18, 2009)

David P Goldman was head of debt research at Bank of America’s securities branch 2002-2005 and a member of its fixed income executive committee, and representative of the Asteri Capital hedge fund of Marc Rich’s Glencore Commodities trading firm.

full article:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/KD18Aa01.html

also see:

First Things Speaks to the Kashrut-Katholic Golem

More Background on First Things Hasbara

More on First Things’ “David Shushon”

David P. Goldman’s Noahide Dream

April 17, 2009

… that “Globalism” might reach its objective; that all non-Judaic nations, cultures and religions may die and be absorbed into counterfeit Israel. Those who don’t go along with this Judeomaniacal fantasy are “‘Jew’-haters”–a fine ideology for an associate editor of an ostensibly Catholic journal to have. David P. Goldman can barely conceal his hatred for Christians as he cajoles them into being canon fodder for “eternal Israel.”

And Spengler is …

David P. Goldman – Asia Times

Apr 18, 2009

… The old and angry cultures of the world, fighting for room to breath against the onset of globalization, would not go quietly into the homogenizer. Many of them would fight to survive, but fight in vain, for the tide of modernity could not be rolled back.

As in the great extinction of the tribes in late antiquity, individuals might save themselves from the incurable necrosis of their own ethnicity through adoption into the eternal people, that is, Israel. The great German-Jewish theologian and student of the existential angst of dying nations, Franz Rosenzweig, had commanded undivided attention during the 1990s, and I had a pair of essays about him for the Jewish-Christian Relations website. Rosenzweig’s theology, it occurred to me, had broader applications.

The end of the old ethnicities, I believed, would dominate the cultural and strategic agenda of the next several decades. Great countries were failing of their will to live, and it was easy to imagine a world in which Japanese, German, Italian and Russian would turn into dying languages only a century hence. Modernity taxed the Muslim world even more severely, although the results sometimes were less obvious.

The 300 or so essays that I have published in this space since 1999 all proceeded from the theme formulated by Rosenzweig: the mortality of nations and its causes, Western secularism, Asian anomie, and unadaptable Islam.

Why raise these issues under a pseudonym? There is a simple answer, and a less simple one. To inform a culture that it is going to die does not necessarily win friends, and what I needed to say would be hurtful to many readers …

In this world of accelerated mortality, in which the prospect of national extinction hung visibly over most of the peoples of the world, Jew-hatred was stripped of its mask, and revealed as the jealousy of the merely undead toward living Israel. And it was not hard to show that the remnants of the tribal world lurking under the cover of Islam [MP: and not Judaism? Zionism? This maniac is hoping his will be the only tribe left] were not living, but only undead, incapable of withstanding the onslaught of modernity, throwing a tantrum against their inevitable end …

My commitment to Judaism came relatively late in life, in my mid-thirties, but was all the more passionate for its tardiness …

… one of the last truly universal European minds belongs to the octogenarian Pope Benedict XVI. In 1996, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had said in an interview published as Die Salz der Erde, “Perhaps we have to abandon the idea of the popular Church. Possibly, we stand before a new epoch of Church history with quite different conditions, in which Christianity will stand under the sign of the mustard seed, in small and apparently insignificant groups, which nonetheless oppose evil intensively and bring the Good into the world.” The best mind in the Catholic Church squarely considered the possibility that Christianity itself might shrink into seeming insignificance …

Painfully and slowly, I began to learn the classic Jewish sources. My guide back to Judaism was the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig, and my first essay on these subjects was published by the Jewish-Christian Relations website in 1999 under the title, “Has Franz Rosenzweig’s Time Come?” …

As a returning religious Jew, I had less and less to discuss with the secular Zionists who shared my passion and partisanship for Israel, but could not see a divine dimension in Jewish nationhood. So-called cultural Judaism repelled me …

Both as classical musician and as a Germanist, I had better insight than most Jews into the lofty character of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI … Ratzinger was kind enough to review and comment on the draft of one of my articles on music theory in the 1980s. There is a connection between Ratzinger’s insider’s grasp of music and his Fingerspitzengefuhl for Jewish theology – something I tried to express in an essay entitled “The Pope, the Musicians and the Jews” …

The editors of First Things asked me for an essay on Franz Rosenzweig and Islam, which I published in 2007, and later a piece entitled “Zionism for Christians”, which appeared in 2008 under the pseudonym “David Shushon”. That was a milestone for me … I came to know the magazine’s editor Joseph Bottum, as well as such regular contributors as George Weigel, Russell Hittinger and R R Reno.

On January 8, 2009, the magazine’s founder Richard John Neuhaus died. A few weeks later Jody Bottum asked me to join the staff of First Things as an editor and writer … “Spengler” is channeled by David P Goldman, associate editor of First Things (www.firstthings.com). (“And Spengler is …,” David P. Goldman, Asia Times, Apr 18, 2009)

David P Goldman was head of debt research at Bank of America’s securities branch 2002-2005 and a member of its fixed income executive committee, and representative of the Asteri Capital hedge fund of Marc Rich’s Glencore Commodities trading firm.

full article:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/KD18Aa01.html

also see:

First Things Speaks to the Kashrut-Katholic Golem

More Background on First Things Hasbara

More on First Things’ “David Shushon”

Rabbi Pulls Back the Veil on Judaism’s Paganism

July 22, 2008

Benedict’s elder brothers are coming forward to claim responsibility for the pagan undercurrent that plagues the West.

The way the issue is framed in this article is very dishonest. The “newly discovered” concepts revealed below are central to Orthodox Judaism.

God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang …

Rabbi unveils a secret of God

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • July 21, 2008

The tradition-bound Western image of a he-man, masculine God may already be thousands of years out of date, says a Westchester rabbi who believes he has unlocked the secret to God’s name and androgynous nature.

Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God – held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 – should actually be read in reverse. When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.”

God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang that have divided the sexes from Adam and Eve to Homer and Marge.

“This is the kind of God I believe in, the kind of God that makes sense to me, in a language that speaks very, very deeply to human aspirations and striving,” Sameth said. “How could God be male and not female?”

Sameth, 54, the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue, first hit on his theory more than a decade ago when he was a rabbinical student. Since then, he has quietly pieced together clues and supporting evidence from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and the vast body of rabbinic literature.

His article “Who is He? He is She: The Secret Four-Letter Name of God” will appear in the summer issue of the CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, an association of Reform rabbis.

Sameth’s theory is not as outlandish as it might seem to the uninitiated. For one thing, Jewish mystical traditions have long found levels of meaning in the Hebrew Bible beyond those that come from a literal or metaphorical reading. For another, there is a deep tradition in Jewish prayer and thinking, particularly among the so-called mystics, of seeking to reconcile the male and female elements in the universe.

Sameth’s article includes this: “What the mystics called ‘the secret of one’ is the inner unification of the sometimes competing, sometimes complementing masculine and feminine energies that reside within each of us, regardless whether we are male or female.”

The notion that God is what Sameth calls a “hermaphroditic deity” could energize the growing movement in many religious traditions to present God in gender-neutral terms, particularly in Scripture.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, a revered scholar among liberal Jews who has written extensively on Jewish mysticism and spirituality, called Sameth’s article “delicious, thought-provoking and wise.” Kushner is among a small group of scholars and friends with whom Sameth has shared his article in recent weeks.

“I think most people assume the God of the Hebrew Bible is masculine, but Mark, through some sound and clever research, suggests that God may have always been androgynous,” Kushner said. “This can affect the way we consider holiness and the divine, and invites us to reconsider our own gender identities, which is kind of a bombshell.”

The Hebrew name of God that is known as the Tetragrammaton – the four letters Yud-Hay-Vov-Hay – appears 6,823 times in the Hebrew Bible. Since early Hebrew script included no vowels, the pronunciation of the name was known by those who heard it.

According to Sameth’s footnotes, the name was said only by priests after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the name was no longer said and the pronunciation lost.

Jewish tradition has long held that the name was too sacred to articulate. Jews have generally used Adonai, “the Lord,” in place of the Tetragrammaton. Various Christian groups have pronounced the name as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.”

Sameth has no intention of speaking the “reversed” name of God that he has uncovered, preferring to focus on its meaning.

“I still won’t pronounce it, intentionally, as God’s name,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that anyone pronounce the name.”

Sameth became fascinated with Jewish mysticism while a rabbinical student in Jerusalem during the early 1990s. He studied with Moshe Idel, a pre-eminent scholar on mysticism, and learned how medieval Spanish Kabbalists and others uncovered mystical meanings from the Torah that had been shrouded in patterns of words and letters.

Once back in New York, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform seminary, Sameth was studying the biblical story of the prophet Nathan reprimanding King David for murder, which becomes a turning point for David. Sameth realized that the Hebrew forms of both names, Nathan and David, are palindromes, words with spellings that can be reversed.

It was, as they say, a revelation.

“It’s about reversibility,” Sameth said. “King David is changing the direction of his life, and the two key characters, their names are palindromes. What are the chances of that?”

A new zeal for biblical reversibility led Sameth to flip the four Hebrew letters of the unpronounceable Tetragrammaton. In his head, he heard the Hebrew words hu and hi. That’s “he/she” in English.

And he felt connected to a long line of Jewish mystics who have mused about the male and female coming together.

“I really believed that I had found something significant,” Sameth said. “Then I did 10 years of study to see if I could find support for it.”

Much of his article consists of weaving together clues and examples from Jewish Scripture and wisdom that offer historical context for his thesis. For example, Sameth contends that the Zohar – a medieval, mystical Torah commentary – was referring to God’s dual-gender “when it suggested that the sin of Adam was that he ruined the marriage between the feminine and masculine halves of God by divorcing himself from the feminine.”

He also writes: “We realize now that the secret was almost revealed by the 13th-century Torah commentator Rabbeinu Bachya, who makes note of every four-word cluster in the Torah whose rashei teivot, or initial letters, spell out the Tetragrammaton in reverse.”

Rabbi Jonathan Stein, editor of the CCAR Journal, was on vacation and not available for comment.

Sameth has been the only rabbi at the decade-old Pleasantville Community Synagogue, a self-described “trans-denominational” congregation that includes elements of Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. Congregants come from many backgrounds and communities to the synagogue, which has become known for hearty singing and dancing during services.

Talking recently about his years of study to grasp the meaning of God’s name, Sameth had to stop, swallow hard and take a breath when describing what it’s like to receive sparks of insight from the great Jewish thinkers of long ago.

“It is a form of transcendence to be connected in that way,” he said.

Sameth doesn’t believe that he has stumbled on a previously unknown understanding of God’s name, but that he has been able to connect the dots in a fresh way.

Those who find meaning in his work, he said, may encounter a different understanding of God that is comforting to feminists and those on many spiritual journeys. They may also read the Torah differently.

“If this interpretation is correct, it says that the Torah is a mystical or esoteric text,” he said. “The mystics have been saying all these years that the text conceals more than it reveals. It is structured with different levels of meaning and reveals itself over time. We’re talking about one tradition that goes all the way back.”

Katherine Kurs, a religion scholar who teaches at New School University and is an associate minister at West-Park (Presbyterian) Church in Manhattan, said that the image of God presented by Sameth will have great appeal to many people who are searching for spiritual meaning.

“Mark’s unveiling is part of a mystic lineage that presents a prismatic experience of God, that says there are ways of experiencing God that contain and explode categories simultaneously,” said Kurs, who has known Sameth since they studied together almost 20 years ago. “This God is not a male or even a female but a male-female or female-male, a God that holds tension and paradox, a full-spectrum bandwidth God.”

Sameth has shared his image of a dual-gendered God with the seventh- and eighth-graders he teaches at his synagogue. He said they’ve been very receptive, which isn’t surprising because they are growing up in a post-modern age.

“As post-moderns, we’ve been conditioned to a different relationship with language,” he said. “That’s why there is all this interest now in Jewish mysticism.”

He wonders how, 2,000 years from now, people will understand the final chapter of “Ulysses,” which includes no punctuation. Will they try to add punctuation, believing that it’s been lost? Or will they grasp that James Joyce knew what he was doing?

“Joyce was playing with language, using language to play with the medium,” Sameth said. “And the Torah isn’t just about Noah taking the animals, twosies by twosies. If that’s what the Torah was all about, how could it have captivated Western civilization for 3,000 years? There had to be more.”

http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807210344

Rabbi Pulls Back the Veil on Judaism’s Paganism

July 22, 2008

Benedict’s elder brothers are coming forward to claim responsibility for the pagan undercurrent that plagues the West.

The way the issue is framed in this article is very dishonest. The “newly discovered” concepts revealed below are central to Orthodox Judaism.

God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang …

Rabbi unveils a secret of God

By Gary Stern
The Journal News • July 21, 2008

The tradition-bound Western image of a he-man, masculine God may already be thousands of years out of date, says a Westchester rabbi who believes he has unlocked the secret to God’s name and androgynous nature.

Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God – held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 – should actually be read in reverse. When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.”

God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang that have divided the sexes from Adam and Eve to Homer and Marge.

“This is the kind of God I believe in, the kind of God that makes sense to me, in a language that speaks very, very deeply to human aspirations and striving,” Sameth said. “How could God be male and not female?”

Sameth, 54, the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue, first hit on his theory more than a decade ago when he was a rabbinical student. Since then, he has quietly pieced together clues and supporting evidence from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and the vast body of rabbinic literature.

His article “Who is He? He is She: The Secret Four-Letter Name of God” will appear in the summer issue of the CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, an association of Reform rabbis.

Sameth’s theory is not as outlandish as it might seem to the uninitiated. For one thing, Jewish mystical traditions have long found levels of meaning in the Hebrew Bible beyond those that come from a literal or metaphorical reading. For another, there is a deep tradition in Jewish prayer and thinking, particularly among the so-called mystics, of seeking to reconcile the male and female elements in the universe.

Sameth’s article includes this: “What the mystics called ‘the secret of one’ is the inner unification of the sometimes competing, sometimes complementing masculine and feminine energies that reside within each of us, regardless whether we are male or female.”

The notion that God is what Sameth calls a “hermaphroditic deity” could energize the growing movement in many religious traditions to present God in gender-neutral terms, particularly in Scripture.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, a revered scholar among liberal Jews who has written extensively on Jewish mysticism and spirituality, called Sameth’s article “delicious, thought-provoking and wise.” Kushner is among a small group of scholars and friends with whom Sameth has shared his article in recent weeks.

“I think most people assume the God of the Hebrew Bible is masculine, but Mark, through some sound and clever research, suggests that God may have always been androgynous,” Kushner said. “This can affect the way we consider holiness and the divine, and invites us to reconsider our own gender identities, which is kind of a bombshell.”

The Hebrew name of God that is known as the Tetragrammaton – the four letters Yud-Hay-Vov-Hay – appears 6,823 times in the Hebrew Bible. Since early Hebrew script included no vowels, the pronunciation of the name was known by those who heard it.

According to Sameth’s footnotes, the name was said only by priests after the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the name was no longer said and the pronunciation lost.

Jewish tradition has long held that the name was too sacred to articulate. Jews have generally used Adonai, “the Lord,” in place of the Tetragrammaton. Various Christian groups have pronounced the name as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.”

Sameth has no intention of speaking the “reversed” name of God that he has uncovered, preferring to focus on its meaning.

“I still won’t pronounce it, intentionally, as God’s name,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that anyone pronounce the name.”

Sameth became fascinated with Jewish mysticism while a rabbinical student in Jerusalem during the early 1990s. He studied with Moshe Idel, a pre-eminent scholar on mysticism, and learned how medieval Spanish Kabbalists and others uncovered mystical meanings from the Torah that had been shrouded in patterns of words and letters.

Once back in New York, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform seminary, Sameth was studying the biblical story of the prophet Nathan reprimanding King David for murder, which becomes a turning point for David. Sameth realized that the Hebrew forms of both names, Nathan and David, are palindromes, words with spellings that can be reversed.

It was, as they say, a revelation.

“It’s about reversibility,” Sameth said. “King David is changing the direction of his life, and the two key characters, their names are palindromes. What are the chances of that?”

A new zeal for biblical reversibility led Sameth to flip the four Hebrew letters of the unpronounceable Tetragrammaton. In his head, he heard the Hebrew words hu and hi. That’s “he/she” in English.

And he felt connected to a long line of Jewish mystics who have mused about the male and female coming together.

“I really believed that I had found something significant,” Sameth said. “Then I did 10 years of study to see if I could find support for it.”

Much of his article consists of weaving together clues and examples from Jewish Scripture and wisdom that offer historical context for his thesis. For example, Sameth contends that the Zohar – a medieval, mystical Torah commentary – was referring to God’s dual-gender “when it suggested that the sin of Adam was that he ruined the marriage between the feminine and masculine halves of God by divorcing himself from the feminine.”

He also writes: “We realize now that the secret was almost revealed by the 13th-century Torah commentator Rabbeinu Bachya, who makes note of every four-word cluster in the Torah whose rashei teivot, or initial letters, spell out the Tetragrammaton in reverse.”

Rabbi Jonathan Stein, editor of the CCAR Journal, was on vacation and not available for comment.

Sameth has been the only rabbi at the decade-old Pleasantville Community Synagogue, a self-described “trans-denominational” congregation that includes elements of Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism. Congregants come from many backgrounds and communities to the synagogue, which has become known for hearty singing and dancing during services.

Talking recently about his years of study to grasp the meaning of God’s name, Sameth had to stop, swallow hard and take a breath when describing what it’s like to receive sparks of insight from the great Jewish thinkers of long ago.

“It is a form of transcendence to be connected in that way,” he said.

Sameth doesn’t believe that he has stumbled on a previously unknown understanding of God’s name, but that he has been able to connect the dots in a fresh way.

Those who find meaning in his work, he said, may encounter a different understanding of God that is comforting to feminists and those on many spiritual journeys. They may also read the Torah differently.

“If this interpretation is correct, it says that the Torah is a mystical or esoteric text,” he said. “The mystics have been saying all these years that the text conceals more than it reveals. It is structured with different levels of meaning and reveals itself over time. We’re talking about one tradition that goes all the way back.”

Katherine Kurs, a religion scholar who teaches at New School University and is an associate minister at West-Park (Presbyterian) Church in Manhattan, said that the image of God presented by Sameth will have great appeal to many people who are searching for spiritual meaning.

“Mark’s unveiling is part of a mystic lineage that presents a prismatic experience of God, that says there are ways of experiencing God that contain and explode categories simultaneously,” said Kurs, who has known Sameth since they studied together almost 20 years ago. “This God is not a male or even a female but a male-female or female-male, a God that holds tension and paradox, a full-spectrum bandwidth God.”

Sameth has shared his image of a dual-gendered God with the seventh- and eighth-graders he teaches at his synagogue. He said they’ve been very receptive, which isn’t surprising because they are growing up in a post-modern age.

“As post-moderns, we’ve been conditioned to a different relationship with language,” he said. “That’s why there is all this interest now in Jewish mysticism.”

He wonders how, 2,000 years from now, people will understand the final chapter of “Ulysses,” which includes no punctuation. Will they try to add punctuation, believing that it’s been lost? Or will they grasp that James Joyce knew what he was doing?

“Joyce was playing with language, using language to play with the medium,” Sameth said. “And the Torah isn’t just about Noah taking the animals, twosies by twosies. If that’s what the Torah was all about, how could it have captivated Western civilization for 3,000 years? There had to be more.”

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